Complete Streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel with access for users of all ages and abilities whether they are drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or riders of public transportation. A wide range of elements can contribute, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, bus lanes, public transportation stops, crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, modified vehicle travel lanes, and streetscape treatments.
The four speakers were Marty Kenny of Lexington Partners, who developed the Windsor Station Apartments and many other luxury apartments in the area; Peter Souza, Windsor Town Manager, the facilitator and detail wrangler for all municipal projects in Windsor; Matt Hart, West Hartford Town Manager, who has experience with successful downtown road and pedestrian projects in several towns; and Patrick McMahon, President & CEO Connecticut Main Street, who extols the virtues of downtown planning for successful town centers for economic development.
Each speaker brought their own transit-oriented experiences to demonstrate the types of obstacles that might be encountered and the results that can be garnered for the local population. Attendees also heard how the transit oriented development planning started in Windsor and how it has progressed since. Most interesting were the plans for the future. Peter Souza handed out a diagram of Broad Street as it might look in several years’ time, with on street parking, pedestrian friendly walkways, and safer crossings.
Windsor business people and residents enjoyed the presentations and took the opportunity to ask questions. Melissa Rickard, a seeing-impaired resident who was recently struck by a car on Broad Street wanted to know what plans are in place to make street crossings safer and to slow traffic. Others asked about bike lanes and general development on Broad Street. Still others wanted to discuss the funding for the potential projects. The panelists were open to all questions and responded well, offering solutions and encouraging optimism for the possible upgrades.
The meeting was catered by Union Street Tavern, generously donated by Lexington Partners. If you missed this meeting, there will be another on March 4th at Jim’s Pizza on Poquonock Avenue in Windsor at 5:00 pm. You can RSVP online at firsttowndowntown.org or call 860-247-8982.